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LBG data highlights: 2017 benchmarking headlines

Jeffrey Oatham

 

LBG just completed its annual benchmarking analysis. Each year a community of over one hundred businesses submit information about their community investment activities to us. They report in alignment with the LBG Framework, the global standard for measuring corporate community investment. So what did the data tell us?

Community investment is getting more strategic:

76% of contributions by businesses in the LBG Network are strategic community investments.

In fact, in addition to 76% of contributions being strategic, more than three quarters of the businesses reporting to LBG are investing strategically. It’s not just the big spenders spending wisely, its companies of all shapes and sizes.

So how do businesses invest strategically?

Well, more than a third of the LBG Network are setting long-term measurable goals while 56% are focusing on one or more broad issues such as education or health.

LBG will review business’ strategic approaches in more detail in the coming months as we explore how strategy can be more deeply integrated into the LBG Framework.

Employers are engaging more and more of their people:

Half a million employees volunteering in work time.

A successful community programme isn’t only about the grants a business provides. It’s about how a workforce is mobilised – employees volunteering their time, fundraising for good causes, going on secondments to support partners’ missions.

Businesses in LBG are having a big impact:

10.3 million people positively impacted by businesses in the LBG Network – that’s larger than the population of Portugal!

Businesses in LBG measure the depth of impact their community programmes have on people. By looking at how activities connect, improve or transform people’s lives, businesses in LBG can understand the effectiveness of their programmes and strategies.

Measurements also show that 4.4 million people improved a skill, changed behaviours or experienced an improvement in their quality of life as a result of support from businesses in the LBG Network.

Social welfare is an issue of growing importance for business:

Nearly one-fifth of contributions by businesses in the LBG Network are now going to social welfare issues, up from only 12% in 2015.

Change is afoot when it comes to the issues that businesses support. For years, education and health were strongly out in front as the most supported issues. Yet, contributions to health have dropped from 30% in 2015 to 21% in 2017. Meanwhile, investments into social welfare have increased from 12% in 2015 to 19% in 2017. So in the span of three years, an 18pp spread has reduced to 2pp.

Why? Is it business stepping up as governments roll back safety nets? Perhaps an investment to counter the growing wealth gap? Maybe a reflection of spending on hot topic issues like social mobility? I reckon a little bit of all these things plus a range of broader, complex issues. Regardless of the reason, a shift seems to be occurring.

Transforming data into insights:

A wealth of other information came through from the 2017 LBG benchmarking. Whether it’s learning how companies give to maximise their impact. How companies are engaging employees, customers and suppliers in their community programmes. Or which sectors are leading the way in impact measurement.

What’s crystal clear, is that businesses in LBG have an appetite for driving societal change. They’re learning, together, what best practice is. And they take that knowledge to transform their programmes to maximise the impact their businesses can have.

Check out our new briefing, Unlock your impact potential, to see more data from LBG.

Interested in learning more about LBG? Drop us a line at lbg@corporate-citizenship.com.

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